POIPU, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Runners from 48 states and 18 countries converged on the Garden Isle this weekend for the 9th annual Kauai Marathon.
The 26.2-mile run begins on the island's south side in Poipu. It stretches up through the famous tunnel of trees, wraps around Historic Koloa town, out to Kalaheo and back to Poipu.
With breathtaking sights along the way, the marathon is prestigious, and one of the most difficult marathons in the country.
"It's always nice to get a chance to see Kauai and the people really pushed me along and kind of inspired me to keep going and when it got hard I was able to dig and make it to the finish line," marathon winner Michael Wardian said.
Wardian finished the course with a time of 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The second place finisher, Bree Wee from Kailua Kona, finished in 3 hours and 15 minutes.
"There were a lot of hills," Wee said. "I'm OK on the uphills, but the downhills haven't really become a strength quite yet. So it was pretty hard for me trying to hold it together down the hills."
About 200 people completed the full marathon course, and more than 1,400 finished the half-marathon event.
The race starts annually at the break of dawn, and aims to bring together residents and visitor for a world-class running event.